It must seem pretty idyllic from the outside to be in bed a lot. I know a lot of people say to me, when I am in the wheelchair “can I have a lift.” They are jealous I get to sit down rather than walk. The other mans grass eh?
I was sitting in my wheelchair today watching my wife, who is neither tall nor strong, hefting heavy stuff around in our garage. She was sorting it out, because it leaks. I was saying what needs keeping and what can go. Can you imagine how hard that was? Not just watching my wife struggle and not being able to help, but also seeing the things that we were getting rid of. Wood we had left over from projects I had done in the past. Car bits being passed on, we no longer have a car. Decorating bits being got ready to pass on. Hopes and dreams can be tied up in things. We invest ourselves in the things we do, the things we plan and the jobs we carry out. So when we are left limited and watching the things that we gathered together, worked with and created being disbanded or thrown away; that is so hard.
Earlier in the day we had help from someone to carry out some jobs. A handyman I paid to do some bits that would have been both enjoyable and easy for me in the past. I was being washed and dressed by my carer at the beginning of their time. I went into my chair to see how things were going when I was dressed. I wanted a wi-if camera fitted. Picture how hard this is. I as trying to explain how and where to fit it, I can’t access the room that the wiring will go into, I can’t reach where it will be fitted. So I can only point and go by memory of what the inside of the room is like. If I had been fitting it I would have popped inside and out, checking the location I wanted in relation to the inside. It’s all very frustrating.
I used to be a very competent DIYer and I enjoyed it. I could build stuff, decorate, fix cars, fix electrical and electronic stuff, yes you’ve got it I was a genius. OK so maybe not a genius, but I was a jack of all trades and master of non. I could turn my hand to many things, but I wasn’t an expert. I did a reasonable job of most things. So it’s hard to watch others do things for me, that I would rather be doing.
The way I have learnt to cope is to try and switch off to it all. The more I focus on what I cannot do the more frustrated I feel. It is only on occasions like today, when I am forced to sit watching my wife struggle that it’s hard to ignore. Oh and next time you are passing me by and you think, ‘I wish I could have a lift in a wheelchair, it looks much easier than walking.’ I will swap with you, but you get the whole package. With life we don’t pick and choose. A wheelchair may be an easier way to travel, but it comes at a cost.
As I sit watching the world go by, I try to not let my frustrations get the better of me.
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